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lordnikon
rank 47
Posted:
Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:01 pm
quote : #1
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Posts: 1635
Type: NTSC-U/C
Well, I recently bought a Game Boy Player. I found one at Fry's Electronics. Believe it or not these things are getting hard to find. There are barely any online, and no store carries it. Thank god for Fry's. It cost me a good 49.99. But I figured it was worth it to snag the thing brand new never used. The device comes in a hard plastic casing. So you will have to cut into this thing with the jaws of life. Be careful not to scratch up or break the GB player.

The first thing I noticed upon taking it out of the case is that it has built in screws. A light bulb went off over my head. I take my gamecube and start installing the GB Player. Once I have it all nice and tight, a hold my gamecube in my hand and sure enough, the revelation I had just had was true.

Have you ever felt that the GameCube Broadband Adaptor was a little "loose" ? If you press down on it, it will sort of drop a bit. It doesn't exactly snap in extra firm. The GB Player has the BBA locked in place nice and tight. The entire game console is now one complete unit. So this physical functionality has me very pleased!

The GB Player comes with a boot disc which you need to run in the GC disc drive. Upon starting up you are met with a very slick interface which can be pulled up at any time by pressing the Z button.

When I first booted up a game, I chose my favorite: Iridion II. I immediatly noticed something was wrong. The game was massivly oversaturated. On top of this, the backgrounds looked TERRIBLE. This had me very worried. Did I spend 49.99 for nothing? I had heard rumours of Iridion II being over saturated on the "new" gba sp featuring the brighter screen. I had even seen videos of the 2 GBA's running side by side. Maybe it was just this game that was the problem?

So I break out Metal Slug Advance. Hmm this isn't moving on the screen as I had expected either. Troubled I stare at Metal Slug wondering why the characters look a bit aliased and in some levels the framerate goes a little sluggish. I pull out MSA, and go for Metroid Fusion. This is Nintendo, it has to look good! Ehhh why is Samus blurry?

Through out this process I have been screwing around with the graphics settings on the GB Player trying to toggle it to look good. I didn't know what was better, and the games I was using were not necessarily suited for benchmarking this. I power off the GameCube and go make something to eat. Later, I return and power it back on again to test another game. This time I put in King of Fighters EX NeoBlood. Wait! This game looks AMAZING! I proceed to beat the game using RYO and cut down Iori and Geese like they were produce. Using the GC controller was such a breath of fresh air. The GBA SP can be hard to play Fighters on. I go back and re-check my settings and notice what I have setup. Now, the gears in my head start turning, and I put in Metroid II for the GameBoy. I was surprised to find that this game runs flawless. The game was pixel perfect and precise coming through my GC's s-video cable.

At this point, I am pretty pleased and am feeling a lot better about my purchase.

Here are some tips to get the maximum image clarity and performance out of your GB Player:

1.) Do not set the screen size to full. This only makes the image more blurry.
2.) For image clarity you can adjust 3 settings which include, "Soft, Normal, & Sharp". Set this to Sharp. The other settings merely make the graphics more aliased and blurry. Especially when the game is scrolling.

But, what about the first few games I tried? Here is the breakdown:

Developers for the GameBoy Advance have a lot more freedom with their graphics. They can have aliased sprites. Many games for the GBA do not feature pixel precise sprite graphics. For instance in Worms World Party, all of the worms have a slight fuzz around them. This is because they were not drawn in by hand with colored pixels. They are merely scaled images with aliased edges. If you have worked in photoshop then you know what I am talking about.

I went back and revisited Metroid Fusion. The reason why Samus is a bit blurry on the inside of her character, is because this is an animation comprised of graphics that are not pixel perfect. The rest of the game is pretty spot on and looks fantastic. So I realise and start playing through the game. Metroid Fusion plays smooth, and I played for a good hour or so. I then put Metal Slug Advance back into the GB Player. The game is very graphic intensive, so the backgrounds don't flow super smooth. However I played through a few levels and found myself enjoying the overall performance. Now that I knew what settings will create the clearest graphics, I was able to see Metal Slug as it should be running on the GB Player. Overall it runs good, and is by all means playable.

Iridion II unfortunatly is a train wreck. The reason for this is, it is one of the most graphic intensive games released for the GBA. The developers used a lot of tricks, including animation fmv backgrounds featuring a matrix of pixels to run well on the old GBA screen. The graphics are also over saturated to compensate for the low light level of the GBA and original GBA SP. This game looks AMAZING on the GBA SP and runs smooth as silk! Blow it up on a TV with a bright screen, and you have a catastrophe.

The GB Player works just as it should, and games are displayed without any "sprite flicker". The issues you will run into are not with the GB Player, but will be with certain games that took full use of the dev environment on the handheld gameboy advance platform.

The great news is, that if a game is pixel precise it will run beautifully. Jet Grind Radio for the GBA is such a game that has pixel precise graphics. The game runs perfect, and it really opens up the game to play it on a TV. Game Boy and Game Boy Color games R-Type DX, Metal Walker, and Metroid II all run awsome on the GB Player. Just today as I am writing this I got the GBA Classics series releases of Metroid and Xevious. These games run absolutly perfect and it makes a strong case for the GBA Player as an NES alternative. If you do not feel like tracking down an original NES to play Mario or Zelda, just grab a GBA Player and the NES classic releases for the GBA.

So, is the Game Boy Player worth it? Yes most definatly. If you put heavy hours into Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance games, then this is a great pickup. The Player adds cart based gaming functionality to your GameCube, and better secures your BBA or Modem. Overall I am happy with my purchase. It sure is cool to sit back and play Xevious on my GameCube.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

-ben (nikon)
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Lunar Eclipse
rank 24
Posted:
Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:23 am
quote : #2
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Posts: 480
Plus it makes you Gamecube and actual cube (in terms of dimensions), heh. But seriously, that's about the same opinion that I have of the device. Like you said, full-screen is a terrible idea, and I like the funny little GBA border that pops up when you're not in full-screen mode anyways. I have a few games that look great on the big screen, and I have others that look pretty awful. For the most part, I like to keep my handheld games on the system for which they are intended.

For me, a big draw that you omitted is the fact that there is a GBA link port on the GB Player itself. This was a great thing for me because my brother and I used to have only one GBA between the two of us (before Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles and Zelda: Four Swords came out), so we could use the GB Player to play multiplayer games. One of us got the big screen and the other would get the GBA screen. In fact, for some of the games that we had (like Shining Soul 2), we both got to look at the TV screen since both characters see the same display at all times.

That was the main reason that I bought one, so I just wanted to put that out there as a secondary benefit if you're into multiplayer gaming on your GBA.

Last edited by Lunar Eclipse on Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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lordnikon
rank 47
Posted:
Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:17 am
quote : #3
profile : pm
Posts: 1635
Type: NTSC-U/C
Oh yea that is something I forgot to mention. At first I thought having a black border would be the obvious choice. Using a border on the GB Player actually "grounds" the graphics and makes them easier to follow. I personally prefer the Gray GBA border myself.

I had left out any mention of Game Boy Player networking functionality because I hadn't tested any of that out yet. I will order a GBA to GBA link cable pronto to test this all out.

I am pretty excited that it is actually possible. Do you know if you can connect 2 GB Players? It has been a longtime dream of mine to have locally networked Jet Grind Radio. In the manual it states:

Note: This method is only for connecting Game Boy systems to the Game Boy Player. Do not connect multiple Game Boy Players together using this method.

That is so vague. They say it is only intended for connecting GameBoy's, but does that mean connecting 2 GameBoy Players would break your GameCube? They tell you "Do not...", but it doesn't say whether it works or does not work. If you can connect GameBoy Players to another GameCube to play Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicals....and with wave birds even, then I would think connecting 2 GB Players would be possible.
  _________________
Homeland Character: トライジール (TRIZEAL)
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Lunar Eclipse
rank 24
Posted:
Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:08 am
quote : #4
profile : pm
Posts: 480
I don't have any reason to believe that it wouldn't work since the Gameboy Player contains an exact copy of the GBA hardware and is not some form of emulation. Unfortunately, I don't have a spare GCN to test this on, so I have no clue. I just don't see why there would be any problem at all . . .

If a GB Player can connect to a GBA, then a GB Player should be able to connect to a GB Player, and I have no idea why the manual would state otherwise.
  _________________
PM me with you DS friend codes, and I'll get you mine! (Currently playing Mario Kart and Animal Crossing on DS Wi-fi)

"From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." (Winston Churchill)
Nine
rank 9
Posted:
Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:49 pm
quote : #5
profile : pm
Posts: 124
Whoa cool! what a coincidence. I just got the gba player too, about a week ago. I happened to see one on a gamecube at a pawn shop. I asked the guy if I could buy it seperately and he said "what?" lol. Anyway I explained to him the gba player was a seperate attachement etc. He told me to make an offer - I said 10 bux, he demanded 20. I said ok. Only problem is It didn't come with the disc. I contacted NOA and they told me it costs 15 to order the disc with 5 dollars shipping. Had I known that I probaly would of bought a new one considering it will cost me 40 for a used version. However, it is in nearly perfect condition and I will be ordering the disc from NOA along with the original Legend of Zelda for GBA which I can't find ANYWHERE - Ive looked since before xmas, originally for a present for my girlfriend who "hasn't moved to the 3D level of gaming yet" but plays the Wind Waker because she "loves zelda"???

I'm excited about getting it working with Super Mario 3, and Phantasy Star 1 -3 which I already own for GBA. Also I'm considering getting Gunstar Heros and The Tower which were recently released and look pretty dang cool for GBA games.

EDIT/UPDATE: I just found out the tower sp is only available at Toys R US, so if anyone was interested you should check this out..

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000E3LDMC/qid=1143410576/br=1-2/ref=br_lf_t_rz_2//002 -0889901-6723241?v=glance&n=13642371&s=toys&m=A3UN6WX5RRO2AG
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lazybum
rank 10
Posted:
Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:52 am
quote : #6
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Posts: 142
Type: NTSC-U/C
i wasnt expecting the gameboyplayer to make my old gameboy and gba games look perfect on my tv, in fact i was expecting a streched out ugly mess. But I was pleasanlty suprised to see that most games I have look great on the tv. For Some, if i really pay attention i can notice a little blurriness or distortion that isnt on the screen when the games are played on their original systems. But playing these games is so much more fun on the tv that a little bluriness does not ruin the experience at all. I highly recommend the game boy player. Its pretty cheap, for the price of a used ps2 game u can basically get a whole new video game system. I got mine for 24 bucks used at gamecrazy and a week later saw one at gamestop for 20. Just make sure it comes with a disc because it needs it to work.
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gary_b
rank 9
Posted:
Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:42 pm
quote : #7
profile : pm
Posts: 122
Type: NTSC-U/C
lazybum wrote:
i wasnt expecting the gameboyplayer to make my old gameboy and gba games look perfect on my tv, in fact i was expecting a streched out ugly mess. But I was pleasanlty suprised to see that most games I have look great on the tv. For Some, if i really pay attention i can notice a little blurriness or distortion that isnt on the screen when the games are played on their original systems. But playing these games is so much more fun on the tv that a little bluriness does not ruin the experience at all. I highly recommend the game boy player. Its pretty cheap, for the price of a used ps2 game u can basically get a whole new video game system. I got mine for 24 bucks used at gamecrazy and a week later saw one at gamestop for 20. Just make sure it comes with a disc because it needs it to work.
yeah i got mine for $20. its worth the 20 bucks with out a doubt.
 
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